MEOW! All roads led to the Mall of Asia Arena last Sunday (August 3) to catch Ariana Grande perform live. Bad weather notwhitstanding, fans of the 22 year old singer flocked to the concert venue. The excitement was palpable even before showtime. People came in their Ari inspired get-ups and donned the singer’s signature headpiece – feline ears!
As I lined up to go inside the arena, I noticed local stars Toni and Alex Gonzaga were right in front of me. The younger sister had her Ari look down pat—including her curled long hair swept up in a tight ponytail . Their presence sent the people into a frenzy! Also in attendance were showbiz families like Carmina Villaroel’s brood and Dingdong Avanzado with wife Jessa and their very cute daughter. Shrieks exploded as drama princesses Kim Chiu and Kathylyn Bernardo made their way to their seats.
DJ Tom Taus played his mixes at exactly 8 pm. Half an hour or so later, Ariana Grande took the stage amidst deafening shouts and screams. The singer opened the show with her hit “Bang Bang” (a song she recorded with Jessie J and rapper Nicki Minaj) which she followed with a string of hits like “Hands On Me”, “Right There” and “Be My Baby”. “I’ve always wanted to visit the Philippines and now I’m here,” Ariana said to the adoring Manila crowd. To endear herself even more to the fans, the cherub –faced performer shouted, “I see your messages! You guys are always on Twitter!”
There’s nothing dimunitive about Ariana Grande. If at all, she’s quite a dynamite. Proving that she has the vocal power to back her international superstar status, Ari gave an amazing rendition of Whitney Houstons’s “I Have Nothing .” She described the song as “one of her favorite songs of all time.” Shortly after, everyone was up on their feet dancing and singing along as she belted “I’m Every Woman” and Madonna’s cult hit “Vogue.”
The two hour show ended with Ariana singing “Love Me Harder”, “Honeymoon Avenue” and “Problem”. With minimal costume changes ( I counted two cat ear headbands and one lopsided black mesh bunny ears), a big screen background, and a handful of backup dancers, the show really anchored its totality in Ariana’s powerful voice and performances. She hit her high notes with ease , danced with 6 inch stilettos on and on more than one occasion put a hand in one lobe to elicit more adulation from her die-hard Arianators. Manila certainly wasn’t disappointed!
We want you back soon Ariana!
With a pocketful of glitter,